Sibusiso Tshabalala

Trading old chestnuts for new – young, angry and black

“It would make an am-a-zing scarecrow, don’t you think?” asks a friend. Save the dull narrative of South Africa’s miracle, another chestnut has crept into South Africa’s discourse. This time around, there’s no Shosholoza humming or rainbows. “Young, angry and black” and its variants has become a phrase dished out with little thought. It passes…

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Mind your language, South Africa

The Tower of Babel grew a foot taller yesterday. At the top of the tower stands Jacob Zuma’s younger brother, Michael. The younger Zuma sloppily admitted to negotiating a contract for Thabo Ntshiqa, honcho of Khumbula Property Services. Like a half-baked court scene from Boston Legal or Judge Judy, the admission was a thing of…

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Zuma doesn’t read and other myths

“This is not a pipe,” reads the caption beneath the painting. With only a cursive scribble and signature — “Magritte” — you begin to wonder if this isn’t one of those overdone visual puns. Magritte, the Belgian painter and provocateur is right. This is not a pipe; it is an image of a pipe. One…

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Survivor Mamelodi and the limits of empathy

Ena and Julian Hewitt were both 15 years old in 1994. Ninety-four, that sluggishly revered year which we consider to be our glorious break from the horrors of the past. I imagine that they were brought up well. The comforts of a suburban white, middle-class life in check: a good education and great future prospects….

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